“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” – Voltaire
While listening to the radio the other day a song by Brad Paisley began to play. The song is called “Letter to Me” it talks about writing a letter to your seventeen year old self. It made me think about what I would write if I wrote that letter to my seventeen year old self. Many thoughts started running through my mind. Once I arrived at work I tucked the thoughts away for later in the day when I could really think about what I would write.
What would I write to my seventeen year old self? Well, having learned what I have since I was seventeen, there is quite a bit I could write.
I could write about how difficult it is to be in a relationship at that age. How difficult it is to fit in at school. How you think you are all grown up, but you really aren’t even close to being grown up. How you always think your parents are wrong and don’t know anything. Years later you learn that they actually did know what they were talking about and were most likely right.
The thing about writing to yourself at a young age, given the life experiences and knowledge I have at my current age, really isn’t logical, but maybe that’s the point. In order to become a wiser person, you need to experience all of those mistakes, disappointments and blunders made during your teenage years. Otherwise, how would you become wise?
I think the idea behind the song, is to maybe forgive yourself for mistakes made, experiences lived which may not have been ideal. See how even though you may have not made the best choices or maybe you did for that age, life did go on. Life is good and you survived the teenage years, and contrary to your seventeen year old beliefs, they really weren’t the best years, so much was yet to come.
As parents, we see our own children making choices which we may not agree with, maybe we even want to stop them from making certain choices. Life isn’t about making choices for others though, it’s about letting your children, or anyone, make their own choices so they can learn from their good and bad choices. Ultimately, we should always be there, loving and supporting when things may not go according to plan and even when they do.
As my quote says, God gives us life, it is up to us to choose how we live it. We can live it to the best of our ability and find happiness even during difficult times, or we can choose to squander it away and waste the precious time we are given. It’s the choice that is the important aspect of living well.
My advice? Live life well! Find what you enjoy, surround yourself with it. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you. Don’t waste time on petty things, eventually those things will wear you down and contribute nothing to the life you were given.
Thank you for stopping by, I look forward to meeting again next week . . .
P.S. – what would you write to your seventeen year old self?